Intel which parlayed the hell out of the “Intel Inside” sticker in the PC world, aims to replicate that branding success in cloud. As of Tuesday, 16 cloud providers can plaster the less-succinct “Powered by Intel Cloud Technology” logo on their web pages. They will join public cloud kingpin Amazon Web Services which has labeled its Xeon-based instances this way since September.
Note: the AWS C3 instances that sold out shortly after launch were Intel Sandy Bridge-backed instances that were part of this program, said Raejeanne Skillern, director of cloud marketing for Intel.
The other participants in the program now include Virtustream, Rackspace and CenturyLink-Savvis in the U.S.; Canopy in the U.K; Cloud4com in the Czech Republic; CloudWatt and OVH in France, Korea Telecom or KT, and a few others. Together all those players are expected to account for more than $3.5 billion in cloud service revenue this year, according to Intel.
Skillern acknowledged that clarifying the innards of a cloud instance flies in the face of the notion that cloud deployments should shield users from that sort of complexity. But, she said the industry is maturing to a point where users do want to know exactly what it is they’re running in the cloud. “Savvy customers were already trying to figure out what powered their instances because it matters,” she said.
Some users may run hundreds of lower-cost instances for a given workload when they could actually save money and get better performance by paying more per unit for higher-level instances, she said. This sort of branding makes those comparisons easier, she said.
Intel’s move comes at a time when some massive cloud providers, including Google, are reportedly thinking about building custom ARM chips to power their workloads — so it’s definitely in Intel’s best interest to tout the strengths of its chip expertise.